18 April 2017
Easter and Economics
Every holiday comes with its positive economic benefits; Valentine’s Day causes an increased flower revenue, Thanksgiving leads to more turkeys being sold, and Christmas, well, nearly all spending increases around Christmas. Easter is no different than these holidays, bringing more egg, candy, and clothing sales. It was calculated that consumers collectively spent approximately $16.4 billion on Easter-specific purchases during the holiday season in 2015, and even more in 2016 when calculations were around $17.3 billion (Tuttle).
Easter is one of the few holidays that families gather for a meal to celebrate. According to 24/7 Wall Street, 86.9% of families will spend an average of $45 on items for these meals. Along with purchasing extra food for meals, consumers also buy increased supply of eggs to follow the tradition of dying Easter eggs. Early preparation for increased egg sales cause farmers to produce about two and a half times as many eggs than their normal output (Brown). However, this increase in production can’t just happen naturally--producers increase their spending as well, expanding flock sizes or changing feed rations. These additional costs create a positive externality for businesses associated with the farmers, as the expansions will bring in extra revenue for the business.
Similar to many holidays, Easter also brings an increase in candy revenue. According to Time.com, consumers spend $2.4 billion just on candy for the holiday season; whether that’s from pre-Easter sales or post-Easter discounts is undetermined. Many companies will alter the products they supply to grab the attention of consumers, as well. Reese’s produces chocolate-peanut butter eggs, M&Ms are created in pastel colors, and Hershey makes mini chocolate eggs. These holiday favorites are a hit for consumer and contribute to the boosted sales of candy companies.
Easter isn’t all about the food, though. Clothing sales usually increase during the Easter season, too, as many consumers like having new outfits for church or other gatherings. About 50% of consumers are said to buy new clothes for Easter, according to 24/7 Wall Street. However, in recent years “Easter’s arrival did little to get people into malls to buy spring apparel” (Russell). In the graph below, a surplus is shown in both the months of March 2015 and March 2016 as the apparel specialty stores have more inventory than sales occurring. Following the assumed trend that clothing sales will increase, the graph around March 2014 shows fairly equivalent sales and inventory.
Overall, Easter, along with other holidays, play a huge role in changes occurring throughout the economy. These seasonal alterations in sales allow for companies to increase their total revenue, as well as change how much of certain products they need.
Brown, Eric. "4-week Easter Upswing Winding down for Egg Producer." The Fence Post. N.p., 04 Apr. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
Ogg, Jon C. "2013 Economic Impact of Easter at $17.2 Billion, Likely Undercounted."247wallst.com. N.p., 01 Apr. 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
Russell, Judith. "Easter Did Little to Boost Apparel Retail Sales in March." Sourcing Journal. N.p., 21 Apr. 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.
Tuttle, Brad. "Easter Sales: How Much We Spend on Chocolate, Candy, Peeps | Money."Time. Time, 25 Mar. 2016. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.